The Instigator
GOP
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points
The Contender
Pwner
Con (against)
Losing
15 Points

Is abortion murder?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 10 votes the winner is...
GOP
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/30/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,659 times Debate No: 34346
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (28)
Votes (10)

 

GOP

Pro

I am Pro, meaning that I say "yes" to the aforementioned question. So, I am FOR the stance that abortion is murder. I will argue for that definition.

The Con, on the other hand, will argue that the answer is "no."

Rule:
1. In the first round, the Con shall simply accept, as opposed to making an argument right away. The second and third rounds are for debating.

Note: You may get judged by how you do or do not follow the aforementioned rule.
Pwner

Con

I accept, good luck pro.
Debate Round No. 1
GOP

Pro

Firstly, what is growing in the woman is alive.
A. Even one celled creatures are alive.
B. What is growing in the woman is eventually going to have many cells.

Now, the definition of murder is:
"The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another." [1]

2. The nature of the life in the woman is human.
A. That life is the product of human DNA, thus it undeniably means that it IS human.
B. Because it is human in nature, it will result in a fully developed human baby (if left to live).
C. A human being is a human being not because he or she has feet, hands, speaking abilities, walking abilities, and so on. After all, not all human beings have feet, hands, speaking abilities, and walking abilities. A human is a human because of his or her nature, not because of the physical abilities or disabilities.

D. I. A person born without limbs (arms and legs) is still human.
II. A person who cannot speak is still human.
III. A person in a coma, unaware, unmoving, and helpless, is still human by nature. It is wrong to murder such a person.

E. What is growing in the woman does not have the nature of an animal. It has HUMAN nature.
I. If it is not human nature, then what is its nature? If it is not human in nature, then does it have a different nature than human?

Now, do not forget that human life begins at conception/fertilization.
The definition of fertilization is:
A process in sexual reproduction that involves the union of male (sperm) and female (ovum) gametes (each with a single, haploid set of chromosomes) to produce a diploid zygote. [2]
After the process of fertilization, the DNA becomes a full set. There would be 46 chromosomes, which is part of the human essence.

1. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
2. http://www.biology-online.org...
Pwner

Con

I. Introduction:

I’d like to thank GOP for debating me on this important and difficult question, and hope our exchange can bring some perspective to the matter. I’ll postpone an evaluation of Pro’s argumentation until our Concluding Essays.

Is abortion murder? No.

1. If abortion is—in and of itself—murder, then every single abortion satisfies the necessary and sufficient conditions of murder.

2. But, some abortions don’t satisfy the necessary and sufficient conditions of murder.

3.Therefore, abortion is not—in and of itself—murder.

This argument is logically valid meaning if its premises are true, its conclusion has to be true. To win this debate, therefore, I simply have to show that premises (1)-(2) are more plausibly true than their negations. Let’s take each in turn.

II. Explanation and Defense:

Premise (1): If abortion is—in and of itself—murder, then every individual abortion satisfies the necessary and sufficient conditions of murder.

If the act of deliberately terminating the life of an embryo or fetus in order to end a human pregnancy [1] is murder, then the circumstances in which this act is performed won’t make a blind bit of difference as to whether it’s murder. It won’t matter if the pregnancy is in the first trimester or the last, whether it involves anesthetics at the finest medical center in the world or an overconfident shaman with an abortifacient herb on the Serengeti. This is because the necessary and sufficient conditions an action must meet to count as murder have already been met. Thus, premise (1) is analytically true.

Premise (2): But, some abortions don’t satisfy the necessary and sufficient conditions of murder.

What are the necessary and sufficient conditions of murder? Well, we have a fairly unified intuitive sense of what they are. For example, murder involves killing. That’s a necessary condition. But, it’s not sufficient because not all killings are murder. E.g. Accidentally terminating someone’s life is not murder. Thus, the killing has to be intentional. But, even this fails to be sufficient as not every intentional killing is murder. E.g. Neither capital punishment nor self-defense is necessarily murder. So, what makes an intentional kill a murder? Unfortunately, here’s where definitions of murder diverge.

For example, while my opponent’s citation claims it’s the kill’s being “unlawful”, dictionary.law.com says it’s the lacking of “legal excuse or authority”, whatever that means. I think we can bypass these ambiguities by saying this: An intentional kill amounts to murder just in case its performance is immoral. That would suffice, because there’s simply no such thing as an immoral and intentional kill that isn’t murder.

While an abortion is a “deliberate termination of a human pregnancy”, it isn’t necessarily immoral.

Take aborting a human zygote as an example. The zygote is quite literally a cell [2]. It has nothing in common with a person, no capacity for thought, deliberation, no hopes or desires. Its chief activity is cellular division. It has the same human DNA every other cell has. It doesn’t even really have the potential to become a person as it would just die if you left it in a test-tube. It requires an enormous amount of assistance in order to become a person. The conditions have to be perfect. So, its potential to become a person—in and of itself—is no closer to being realized than the potential for any cell to become a person. If you were to remove the nuclei from an unfertilized egg and any old cell, implant the cell’s nucleus into the unfertilized egg, and then fertilize the egg, the cell would naturally follow the course of development until it one day emerged victoriously from…well, you get the idea. Nearly everything has the potential to become a person. So what?

My point is this. The zygote has far more in common with cells than it does with persons, and there is nothing immoral—in and of itself—about deliberately terminating the life of cells. In fact, it’s sometimes morally obligatory to do so, as when one ought to destroy cancer cells. Thus, not only is (2)’s negation entirely uncertain, but (2) seems far more in line with common sense.

III. Conclusion:

As both premises seem more plausibly true than their negations, I’ll take it that this argument should be regarded sound and thus that abortion is not murder.

Thanks for reading.

Footnotes:

[1]: http://dictionary.reference.com...

[2]: http://www.britannica.com...

Debate Round No. 2
GOP

Pro

I appreciate Pwner for his reply.

1. To begin with, notice how Pwner stated that "some abortions don't satisfy the necessary and sufficient conditions of murder." Afterwards, he said that "abortion is not—in and of itself—murder." Although I commend Con for his efforts, I still must point out how he uses some cases to say that abortion is not murder in a broader sense. Thus, my opponent made a hasty generalization, which is unfortunately a logical fallacy.
______________________________________________________

2. Now, I would like to add that I agree with Con's first premise (by itself), which is that "if abortion is—in and of itself—murder, then every individual abortion satisfies the necessary and sufficient conditions of murder." The only problem here, as mentioned before, is how it connects to the second premise, which has already been established as a logical fallacy. After all, I am adamant in my stance that every individual abortion does indeed meet the "sufficient conditions of murder." Moving on to the second premise, Pwner also said that murder involves killing as a necessary condition. However, he stated that the condition is not sufficient "because not all killings are murder." He supports this statement by mentioning how accidental termination of someone's life is not murder, and how capital punishments and self-defense do not constitute as murder (even though they are intentional).

I concur with Con saying that neither accidental killing nor capital punishments and self-defense constitute as murder.
However, my opponent uses dictionary.law.com to attempt to lay out a definition of "unlawful." Notice that my opponent in turn displays his disregard for the very definition that he himself brought up. How did he do this? He displayed his disregard for the said definition by saying, "whatever that means." Afterwards, he chose to simply "bypass these ambiguities" by saying, "An intentional kill amounts to murder just in case its performance is immoral."

At this point, Pwner says that the zygote is "literally a cell." What Pwner needs to be reminded of is that the zygote is the product of the sperm and the egg, and has DNA. After all, that is the very essential nature of humans. Once again, humans are not humans because they can think, have capacity for deliberation, walk, talk, hope, or desire. After all, there are people born without the ability to think, have capacity for deliberation, as well as the abilities for hoping and desiring (hoping and desiring constitute as thoughts).
_______
My opponent also claims that it has nothing in common with a person. Well, the argument that a zygote and a person (after birth) are both products of DNA still stands. Furthermore, he also says, "Its chief activity is cellular division."
This is simply disregarding the fact that people delivered after birth also undergo the very same chief activity of cellular division. It is scientifically proven that our cells are under constant division [1] (except for nerve cells after maturation). After all, this is an essential necessity for our vitality. Our red blood cells are constantly under the process of cellular division, just like our white blood cells, our skin cells, and many others. Additionally, it must be considered that our cells in the human body die without oxygen. [2] Hence, our red blood cells, which carry oxygen through the process of circulation, must go under cellular division for the sake of other cells.

In short, here is the layout of the argument proving that OUR chief activity is cellular division.
1. Our cells need oxygen, or they will die. If our cells die, then we would not be able to survive.
2. Red blood cells go through cellular division, so that there would be many of them to deliver oxygen with.
3. Therefore, OUR chief activity is cellular division, and this is no different from the zygote. We need to survive by the division of our cells, ESPECIALLY the red blood cells. The zygote needs to survive by the division of its cells, too.

Considering these important elements, can one really say that the zygote has NOTHING in common with a person, as Pwner emphatically asserted in italics?
__________________________________________
"It has the same human DNA every other cell has."
This is true, but Pwner is disregarding the fact that other cells are not capable of reproduction through natural means, but instead are capable of reproduction through artificial means such as implantation (see the paragraph below this one). The zygote cell in the woman is going to be a person in nine months. However, is a muscle cell (or any other kind of a cell) going to become a person in nine months? No.

Now, Pwner said that any cell has the potential to become a person. This is corroborated by him saying that the zygote's "potential to become a person—in and of itself—is no closer to being realized than the potential for any cell to become a person. Tragically enough, Con did not realize that the zygote is already a person, seeing that it is the product of both the sperm and the egg (don't forget that the zygote already contains 46 chromosomes). Besides, this is problematic even if Con believes that a zygote is not a person. A zygote, in his perspective, may not be anything like a person, but the idea here is that the zygote is still closer to becoming a person if one compares this to a mere possibility of any cell being able to become a person via implantation.

In other words, Con makes the logical fallacy of not comparing apples to apples. A zygote is already the result of fertilization, whereas the possibility for any cell to become a person (through implantation) is simply a potential that has not even occurred in the form of fertilization yet. Therefore, a zygote (which is already the product of fertilization as mentioned before) is much closer to becoming a person than the potential, but non-occurred idea of implantation.
Although, I would agree that if implantation had already occurred into an unfertilized egg, then that would result in a person. Sadly, my opponent only referred to a non-occurred situation, thus making an invalid comparison. As implied before, one can only compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges.

Conclusion:

Finally, my point is that the zygote is in fact a person because of the human nature. Because of the human nature (think about the DNA and the growth tendency), it is therefore undeniably human.

Pwner says that "it’s sometimes morally obligatory to do so, as when one ought to destroy cancer cells." This is flatly contradicted by what Cancer.net says. On the aforementioned website, it is written, "Most importantly, a pregnant woman with cancer is capable of giving birth to a healthy baby because cancer rarely affects the fetus directly. Although some cancers may spread to the placenta (a temporary organ that connects the mother to the fetus), most cancers cannot spread to the baby. " [3]
Here, it is said that cancer RARELY affects the fetus directly, whereas Pwner says "sometimes" morally obligatory to do so. This is also considering that the very concept of cancer during pregnancy is very rare in itself. In fact, the very same website says, "Cancer during pregnancy is uncommon, occurring in approximately one out of every 1,000 pregnancies." Considering that the idea of cancer during pregnancy is rare within itself, how much rarer do you think the concept of the fetus being affected would be? Should you really think of killing the zygote (which has been already established as human life dictated by the DNA and its tendency to grow into a person) as a "moral obligation"?

Sources:
1. http://www.wisegeek.org...
2. http://library.thinkquest.org...
3. http://www.cancer.net...


Pwner

Con

I'd like to thank Pro for the debate, and I hope the reader is able to glean some insights from our exchange.

Pro's duty was to argue that abortion is murder. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find any such argument in his Opening Essay.

Murder was defined as "The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another." Leaving aside the difficulties with this definition [1], Pro gave no reason to think abortion was unlawful. At most, the data he posted indicates that abortion is the premeditated killing of one human being by another. However, Pro conceded that such killing needn't be murder, as it can fail to be in cases of capital punishment and self-defense. So, it appears to me that whether or not I've adequately argued for my position, Pro certainly hasn't argued for his. Had we more time, I would've liked Pro to fill in the following blanks:

1. Any premeditated killing of one human being by another that involves _______ is 'unlawful'.
2. Abortion is a premeditated killing of one human being by another that involves _______.
3. Therefore, abortion is 'unlawful'.

But, these difficulties aside, have I done any better?

Well, I provided a logically valid argument for the conlusion that abortion is not--in and of itself--murder. The argument is valid (and thus not logically fallacious) as it is simply an example of the modus tollens argument [2] which involves the following form, where p and q refer to any arbitrary proposition:

4. If p, then q.
5. Not-q.
6. Therefore, not-p.

It had only two premises, meaning my success in this debate rides on their plausibility.

Pro conceded its first premise so I will reserve my attention to the second and final premise.

Premise (2): Some abortions don't satisfy the necessary and sufficient conditions of murder.

The idea is this: If some abortions fail to be immoral, then some abortions fail to be murder. Some abortions fail to be immoral. Therefore, some abortions fail to be murder.

I argued that there was nothing wrong, per se, with terminating the life of a zygote because it has more in common with cells than persons as the former lacks practically every single defining feature of the latter and there's nothing wrong, per se, with terminating the life of a cell. Pro claims that what makes us human is this thing called a 'nature'. But, it's unclear to me what this nature is especially as Pro has removed nearly all things human from it. If something is 'human' simply because it has our DNA, then every cell in our body is human. And what if we implanted our DNA into a banana? Banana man, I s'pose.

I pointed out that the zygote's potential to become a person doesn't make it wrong to kill zygotes since every single cell in our body has the same potential, and it's not wrong to kill them. The idea here is that if you were to extract the nucleus of a cell and implant it into a 'hollow' and unfertilized egg, and then fertilize it, the nucleus would be what eventually develops into a person. Picture the egg's nucleus as the driver of a car. We can substitute whatever driver we want for the car. So, if it's wrong to kill a zygote by virtue of its potential to be a person, it's wrong to kill your skin or hair cells by virtue of their potential to be persons. To date, every response I've seen to this line of reasoning has been to draw distinctions between the zygote and other cells (such as the proximity of their potentials to be persons). But, I've yet to see a single distinction that made a difference.

So, not only was my argument logically valid but its premises seem more plausible than their negations. If this doesn't suffice to justify my position in this debate, I'm not sure what would.

Thank you very much for reading.


Footnotes:

[1]: For starters, the definition would restrict murder to humans. But, surely we're not the only things that could commit murder. Suppose an alien--far more intelligent than we--came to Earth, intentionally and immorally killing off humans. By this definition, it hasn't murdered anyone. Further, what is "unlawful" supposed to mean? Contrary to existing laws? Which country's laws and when? Or does it mean the killing ought to be unlawful? On what grounds? It's far too careless a definition for serious moral philosophy.

[2]: http://www.philosophy-index.com...;
Debate Round No. 3
28 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by elvroin_vonn_trazem 3 years ago
elvroin_vonn_trazem
A totipotent stem cell has no built-in supply of food, sufficient for several days of cell-division. It has to obtain food from its environment quickly, or it will die. If the biologist provides the food, then the cell, potentially, might become the equivalent of a blastocyst after about 4 days. And if that was allowed to attempt to implant into a womb, the result, nine months later, might be a fully-formed baby --and STILL only an animal organism, despite now, and ONLY because of the Law, not Science, qualifying as person. It is unable to pass any Scientific Personhood Detection Tests, and won't be able to pass any until after several months of additional brain-growth have passed.

There is no "if" about the ability of biologists to activate ordinary cells into totipotent stem cells. The only caveat is, the biologists only know how to do it with certain types of cells, not all of the many types of cells. YET. The list of cell-types they can activate grows regularly....

You repeated a stupid lie when you wrote, "Unless, for example, a muscle cell's DNA is implanted into an egg, then one can safely say that fertilized egg is already a human being". You are talking about the classic cloning process, and NO, THE DIRECT RESULT IS ONLY A HUMAN ANIMAL ORGANISM, not a human being. It takes more than a year before it grows enough to qualify AS a "being", a person, instead of merely HAVING "being".

Consider a rescue squad, and the improving efforts to respond quickly to an accident. Also consider the advancing of medical technology --already we know how to take a mouse, cut its legs off, and get it to grow new ones. "Regeneration" technology for humans is being heavily researched. So, in the future, imagine you have a horrible decapitation accident. Do you want the rescuers to put your head or your body into a regeneration vat? Which part of you is the PERSON? Answer: "The Mind". Unborn humans only have animal-level minds. That's why they are not persons!
Posted by elvroin_vonn_trazem 3 years ago
elvroin_vonn_trazem
The word "organism" can easily refer to a living thing that consists of a multitude of smaller parts. So a single cell is an organism (contains a nucleus, mitochondria, a cytoskeleton, and other stuff), and a whole human body is also an organism (contains heart, lungs, bones, etc.). Both have an internal "organization", and the parts are often called "organs", of course.

An organism must be more than JUST an organism, to qualify as a "person". Else every bug on the planet would qualify. Furthermore, we have no reason to think that a person has to even be biological in its organization. At the rate technology is progressing, compters will exceed human brain-power in less than two decades. And we are COPYING human-brain-functionality into those computers, in order to make them better Artificial Intelligences...some will eventually qualify as persons. (And as an aside, imagine taking a bunch of Scientific Personhood-Detecting Tests for Extraterrestrial Aliens, and interviewing God with them. We might expect God to easily pass the Tests --but consider that God has neither biological nor even physical existence. So, indeed, personhood need not have ANYTHING to do with "human-ness").

Your next point of ignorance is this statement: "Unless if you have done the implantation part, then you cannot even equate another cell (which is not a human and will not become one unless you do implantation) with a zygote (which is already the finished product of fertilization)" --because a zygote is NOT what implants into a womb! The zygote experiences about 4 days of cell-division, and becomes something called a "blastocyst", and THAT multi-celled human animal organism is what implants into a womb.

Meanwhile, if a biologist took an ordinary DNA-possessing human cell, and "activated" it, causing it to become a "totipotent stem cell", this particular human cell still has one major difference from a zygote. The human-egg-cell contained a lot of FOOD, before it became a zygote.
Posted by elvroin_vonn_trazem 3 years ago
elvroin_vonn_trazem
I have no objection to your calling an unborn human "a human". I simply object to ignorant folk calling it "human being" when it obviously is not any such thing. Do you call a "rabbit" a "rabbit being"? NO. Why not? Well, I get to that in a moment, because "being" has another definition; it often refers to something that exists. Nevertheless, while a rock certainly exists, and HAS "being", we never say that it IS a "being" (as in the phrase "rock being"). Why?

Because in the common language, "being" is a synonym for "person". (As evidence, consider phrases such as "intelligent being" and "alien being") The rabbit is only an animal organism --and a rock doesn't even qualify for that-- and so also is an unborn human ONLY an animal organism. If abortion opponents REALLY thought an unborn human qualified as a person, they would be using the phrase "fetus being" a great deal --but they don't ever actually do that, and probably would be laughed at if they did. So instead they stupidly LIE, and misuse the phrase "human being", thinking they might be able to get away with it. NOPE.

Next, you are stupidly lying when you say, "The fact that it's going to grow" --because it is NOT always a fact. Roughly 50% or more of all conceptions Naturally fail to grow enough to be born, mostly due to defective DNA. Each one has as much potential to utterly fail, as to succeed.

Next, like other abotion opponents, you reveal that you don't know what you are talking about. What do you mean, "for the other cells to become human"??? Any cell full of human DNA in its nucleus is already 100% human (per the adjective usage of the word). It is a human animal organism. The overall human body, of course, consists of vast numbers of cells (and I bet you didn't know that 90% of them are NOT human!). Anyway, each human cell, a distinct human animal organism, generally works with its neighbors in cooperation, to get things done on a much larger scale than it can do by itself.
Posted by GOP 3 years ago
GOP
How would you know that they're similar enough, unless if you have read the entire debate?

Well, elvroin, a human is a human because because of his or her nature of being the product of both the sperm and the egg. A zygote qualifies as that, and so do we. The only difference is the age.

Potential is about the future. I used the term "potential" to refer to how it's going to grow. The fact that it's going to grow implies the happenings of the future, you know.

The only difference between a human and a human being is that the former doesn't necessarily have to be alive. A human is more of a general term. A human could be referring to a dead human or a living human. Human being is a living human, as indicated by the word "being", you know? Then again, you know that I refer to human in a general context to talk about human beings. It's a matter of deductive reasoning skills, that's all.

Yes, but for the other cells to become human, you need to do implantation. Unless if you have done the implantation part, then you cannot even equate another cell (which is not a human and will not become one unless you do implantation) with a zygote (which is already the finished product of fertilization). You say "if the potential is activated", and that's a very big IF. Well, the potential has already been opened for the zygote. Unless, for example, a muscle cell's DNA is implanted into an egg, then one can safely say that fertilized egg is already a human being. However, that is not the case, because you have not done the fertilizing yet.

A human is considered a human because of its nature. We are not defined by having thoughts, feet, arms, eyes, etc. There are people born without those things. It would be wrong to say such people are not human. We are defined by our human nature. The fact that we're the product of DNA and were zygotes once.
Posted by elvroin_vonn_trazem 3 years ago
elvroin_vonn_trazem
Your arguments are similar enough. Just go to www.fightforsense.com, and see!

You also tell stupid lies, just like other abortion opponents. A "stupid lie" is a lie that is very easy to show it is a lie; ordinary lies are often difficult to reveal.

Your first stupid lie is to call an unborn human a person, in spite of all the Scientific evidence against it. IN NO WAY has "it been established", Scientifically, that a zygote qualifies as a person! Re-read my first comment here.

Your next stupid lie is the misuse of the word "potential". "Potential" is always about the future, not the present, and the difference between the future and the present is "change". An unborn human animal organism can change to become a human person; THAT is how to use the word "potential".

You next stupid lie involves equating "human" with "human being", when in fact the two concepts are distinct. For proof, just try equating "carrot" with "carrot being". Perhaps somewhere in Science Fiction there is a story about "carrot beings", PERSONS (the original B&W movie, "The Thing", comes to mind); the two concepts are NEVER equated with each other. But stupidly-lying abortion opponents want others to think that "human" automatically equates with "human being", when the former is a zygote, and the latter is a person. Tsk, tsk.

There is NO problem about the potential of most ordinary human cells. Each one CURRENTLY IS just an animal organism. If the potential of one of them is activated, exactly like a just-formed zygote, to begin the process of cell-division leading to a complete human body, it STILL "currently is" an animal organism. Furthermore, it remains such (not counting application of Law at birth), just an animal, until it can pass the same sort of Scientific Tests we might take with us to the stars, to determine which alien organisms are mere animals, and which qualify as persons. Any other conclusion is worthless, stupid, PREJUDICE. Prejudice is always wrong!
Posted by GOP 3 years ago
GOP
" I did not need to read every detail of the arguments made, because they are so similar to other arguments made elsewhere, over and over again by others who were just as uninformed as yourself."

If you did not even read every detail, then how do you know that they are similar to other arguments made elsewhere? You would not know that unless if you have read every detail.

The word "potential" is relevant depending on the context. I use the word "potential" in the context of saying that the unborn person growing even more in the woman. I use the word "potential" to emphasize that it was indeed a human since conception. The word "potential" is used to describe the human nature of being made of DNA from gametes. It is already established that the fertilized egg is already a person, not a potential person. After all, the fertilized egg is the result of both the sperm and the unfertilized egg.

The point with any somatic cell being able to become a separate person is problematic. Firstly, I would concur that if you already took the DNA from a somatic cell and were to implant that into an unfertilized egg, then that would already result fertilization. Voila, there's a human being right.
However, unless you actually do the implanting, then all you're left with is just a possibility. I have refuted this claim in the debate itself. You need to compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges. Don't compare a zygote, which is already a human, with the possible, but non-occurred idea of putting somatic cells' DNA into unfertilized eggs. That's an "if", and a very big "if" at that.
Posted by elvroin_vonn_trazem 3 years ago
elvroin_vonn_trazem
To GOP, I did not need to read every detail of the arguments made, because they are so similar to other arguments made elsewhere, over and over again by others who were just as uninformed as yourself. The word "potential" is irrelevant, and it is easy to prove it is irrelevant. Just consdier that YOU have the potential to be dead. Does that mean you should be treated, right now, as if you wee actually dead (and get buried 6-feet-under)? NO. Likewise, there is no reason to treat a potential person in the same way as we treat an actual person.

Meanwhile, biologists are discovering ways to turn ANY ordinary DNA-possessing human cell into a "totipotent stem cell", which, by definition, has just as much potential as a zygote. What that means, is that, POTENTIALLY, every single human-DNA cell in your body could become a separate person, if that potential was allowed/helped to be fulfilled. Is there a requirement that, just because a potential exists (say, the potential for an ignorant abortion opponent to fall down stairs and break neck), that potential MUST be fulfiled? HAH!
Posted by GOP 3 years ago
GOP
Murder is about unlawfully killing a human, which is a person.

A white blood cell, elvroin, is not a zygote. A white blood cell will simply remain a white blood cell. It is not going to become a baby. A zygote, if left to grow in the womb, will become a baby. You clearly did not read the debate carefully.

An unborn living human organism qualifies as a person because a person is the product of both the sperm and the egg. After fertilization, you already have a person there. The genes between the sperm and the egg cross over, and voila!
Posted by elvroin_vonn_trazem 3 years ago
elvroin_vonn_trazem
And here we have another case in which an abortion opponent was ignorant of many relevant data-items. First of all, "murder" is not about killing a "human". It is about killing a "person", and those two things, "human" and "person", are not automatically the same thing. If you ever enjoyed a movie like Star Wars, in which plenty of non-human persons were part of the story, then you KNOW that the definition of "person" does not have to automatically mean "human". (I will also mention the movie "The Bicentennial Man", in which a robot becomes acknowledged as a person.) Next, since it is widely accepted that an ordinary white-blood cell, despite being perfely alive and perfectly human in its DNA, is not a person --therefore you KNOW that the definition of "human" does not automatically equate it with "person".

So, abortion can be murder ONLY if it can be proved that an unborn living human organism qualifies as a person. And that is where other relevant data items become involved. If we can imagine a very nonhuman entity such as Jabba the Hutt to qualify as a person (even if a bad person), then we need to ask, "What properties do persons have in common, that are independent of species?" After we Answer that Question, we can conclude that any organism that fails to possess those properties must be a non-person.

And when all the relevant facts are considered, regarding properties of personhood, one thing is very clear: Humans cannot pass any Scientific person-identifying tests until months(!) after birth. Period. And so abortion can NEVER be murder, so long as the definition is about killing a person.

Various idiots will now, mistakenly, exclaim that infanticide can be allowed, too. What we have is a situation in which Law and Scientific Fact are not in sync. ALMOST NO ONE is seeking to make Current Law, which grants person status at birth, move that grant to a later date. Instead, idiots want to make the Law MORE out of sync with the Facts. Tsk, tsk!
Posted by Daktoria 3 years ago
Daktoria
I mean the is-ought problem is a distinction between the real and ideal.

Propositions in general are ideal, so conflating categorical with modal propositions isn't a problem. They're both ideal. If some idea is necessary, then some idea is necessary.
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by gordonjames 3 years ago
gordonjames
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro argued: The unborn are persons Killing a person is murder. - This is sloppy because the legal definitions are not so clear CON tries to use negative logic with equally fuzzy thinking. Pro or Con could have clearly won by clearly defining legal specifics (in CON's favor) vs practical considerations (in PROs favor) - When does a person become "a person under the law" - currently at birth in most countries. - Do we go with a legal definition of murder (which excludes abortion in most countries) or a practical?
Vote Placed by xXCryptoXx 3 years ago
xXCryptoXx
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Reasons for voting decision: This was actually a rather tough debate to vote on. Pro's opening argument showed that the fetus is indeed human and briefly showed that it is unlawful to kill an innocent human being. Con's response was flawed because although he claimed that some abortions are not immoral, he did not sufficiently clarify why. He claims that not all killings are immoral like capital punishment, does not successfully compare them to abortions. He then goes on to claim all cells are morally equivalent because they all have the potential to be a human. Pro showed how capital punishment ect. is irrelevant to the killing of a fetus and also showed that unlike other cells in the human body, the fetus is already a human and does not just hold the potential to become one. Not a bad debate guys, good job to both of you.
Vote Placed by Travniki 3 years ago
Travniki
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Reasons for voting decision: Very good debate, very close debate. Pro managed to convince me that a zygote indeed was a human, and that to kill it was to kill a human being. Con changed directions at the last round asking WHY we perform abortion, and why must it necessarily fit into the category of an "immoral killing". This analysis came out too late in the round to give Con the edge, but could have been a game changer had it been released early on. Good job to you both.
Vote Placed by jzonda415 3 years ago
jzonda415
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Reasons for voting decision: This was a great debate. It was really tied on most fronts; however, I would give points to Pro for most convincing arguments. Pro's argument about the nature of a human really sold me and Con failed to refute it with sound reasoning. Everything else was a tie. Nice job to both Pro and Con.
Vote Placed by Daktoria 3 years ago
Daktoria
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Reasons for voting decision: Con lost on behaviorism. He assumed we know how internal cognition externally behaves when saying,"It has nothing in common with a person, no capacity for thought, deliberation, no hopes or desires" during R2. Thought, deliberation, hopes, and desires are internal states of mind which might behave or not in a variety of ways. Not only does Con fail to account for this variety, but Con also fails to justify why we're entitled to judge another potential state of mind in advance of treating it with respect. People can think without acting. Why are we entitled to claim that because someone hasn't acted sufficiently to our satisfaction that someone clearly isn't thinking? This even extends into Con's presentation of Modus Tollens which is actually controversial because of its usage of negative propositions. The proper conclusion is "Therefore, not necessarily P" because the premises are not necessarily complete perspectives on consequences (such as from mindsets to behaviors).
Vote Placed by Bullish 3 years ago
Bullish
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Reasons for voting decision: What newbiehere said. (Can I do that?)
Vote Placed by Skeptikitten 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not meet his burden of proof that his own definition of murder applied to abortion. Considering that he defined abortion as "unlawful" but did not prove abortion is unlawful, he negated his own argument. In fact, he seemed to spend his entire argument on the question of whether an embryo/fetus is a person, not whether abortion is murder according to his own given definition.
Vote Placed by Legitdebater 3 years ago
Legitdebater
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Reasons for voting decision: CVB for Babeslayer
Vote Placed by Babeslayer 3 years ago
Babeslayer
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Reasons for voting decision: I just wanna vote
Vote Placed by newbiehere 3 years ago
newbiehere
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Reasons for voting decision: In comments.